Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Colors! 3D (3DS eShop) Review

Review for Colors! 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Nintendo’s DS and 3DS systems have provided the perfect opportunity for developers to use touch screen input imaginatively for artistic applications or games. The beneficial nature of being able to draw one-to-one with a pen and surface is a major advantage and compares to expensive tablets for PCs, though it comes with the drawback of having a much smaller surface. It’s no surprise, then, that we’ve seen titles which involve simple drawing, right up to more experienced applications, make an appearance on both portable consoles. The latest is an eShop title from Collecting Smiles, Colors 3D.

Colors 3D, at its heart, is purely about painting and keeping it fairly simple with the amount of tools and brushes available, meaning owners will need at least some artistic skill to be able to produce some fine-looking work. That said, there are no rules to say that anyone that has little or no artistic ability won’t enjoy it! Plus, it comes with some preloaded artwork to give inspiration to those that might need it. Beginner artists might want to go for a title like Art Academy first, though - a fantastic application that actually teaches the fundamentals of art and provides the skills to then move onto Colors 3D. For the more experienced artists out there, Colors 3D is worth purchasing abruptly and is more than worth its price tag.

The title immediately takes the crown of “best painting application on 3DS” simply because any other artistic applications have been home to Nintendo’s previous handheld, the DS. That said, it looks set to stay that way for a long time, perhaps even throughout the entire life of the 3DS, and here’s why.

Once users have finished work on a piece of art it can then be uploaded to the Colors Gallery through the software itself, where the rest of the world can view it. That’s right, you don’t even need Colors 3D to view others’ work, as the Colors Gallery also has a website. It has all the same functions, such as being able to ‘like’ artists’ artworks and see a time-lapse of how they drew it, from the first line drawn, right through to its completion. Viewers can also comment on work and ‘share’ it to Facebook (although the latter only exists on the website). Developer Collecting Smiles even holds competitions via the website and promotes work by highlighting the weekly best, latest and random paintings. All in all, it is fantastic and, more importantly, convenient. It is just a shame there is no way of keeping track of particular users’ artwork by following their account or something along similar lines. Adding to the array of ways one’s artwork can be shared, completed paintings can be saved to an SD card, which can then be sent to friends via Nintendo Letter Box or transferred to a PC at a much higher resolution.

Screenshot for Colors! 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Paintings made with Colors 3D can be viewed in stereoscopic 3D, producing some amazing sights in the gallery. The majority of paintings have been purposely made using the 3D layer system and it works great, giving artwork a new perspective (quite literally). Creationists are able to paint on up to five layers of 3D, giving a solid amount of depth. Painting on separate layers may become a bit confusing at first, but with practice it becomes second nature. These layers can be deleted separately or moved forwards or backwards easily, too, so artists can easily manage their paintings. In fact, controlling the application in general is very easy. A simple push of the R button brings up all available options, including choosing between brush types, colour selection, brush size and opacity. The L button comes in handy at times, as it functions as an undo button, allowing for the backtracking of any mistakes made. Artwork can be saved at any time by pressing the Start button, and even if a number of mistakes are made afterwards, changes since the last save can be discarded. Both of these functions come in very handy. Additionally, the 3DS cameras can be used to take photos as a reference for paintings, and images can be imported from an SD card.

Multiplayer options have been included, allowing two people to draw together on the same canvas, and sessions on paintings that have already been started can be shared. Unfortunately, this can only be done locally, with online options non-existent.

Screenshot for Colors! 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Colors 3D isn’t a game, but in terms of usability and functions, it’s pretty much near flawless. The ability to follow other users on the Colors Gallery would have been a nice addition, as would online multiplayer, but other than that everything works perfectly and does what you’d expect from a painting application.


The menus all look very colourful and clean. Any other graphics come from the users themselves, so if you’re a bit of a Vincent van Gogh, you might rate your work highly, but if you’re a bit of a Picasso, you may think otherwise. Joking aside, the visuals are as good as they need to be.


There’s very little sound in the application, no music, just clicking sounds when you select options on the menus. Again, it does what it needs to, though.


You’ll get an astounding amount of longevity from this application and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the 3DS’ lifetime and perhaps even longer. The Colors Gallery adds to the value by allowing you to upload your artwork to the internet, so the rest of the world can see it. Add this to the fact that drawing is a creative process and something that can never end and you have an unlimited ending amount of enjoyment on offer, provided you love painting and drawing, of course.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Colors 3D is no doubt one of the best applications to grace the eShop and if you have an interest in drawing and art in general, you’ll love it. Those who have no experience at all in drawing might like to try Headstrong Games’ Art Academy first, to learn the fundamentals, but if you have a head start, be sure to check out this fantastic application right away! With Collecting Smiles promising future updates, as well, further improvements and changes are likely to be made.

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Colours! 3D


Collecting Smiles







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Rated $score out of 10  9/10

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European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

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I have the homebrew game for the DS. Smilie It's great to see a homebrew game turn retail!!

Darkflame (guest) 19.05.2012 22:22#2

Same here.
All hail the smudge tool!

It's a great peace of software. So easy to use and pretty intuative. Definitly recommend it to anyone who has a creative side.

It's one of the 3DS's strongest pieces of software so far. You can also get this software for iPhone, but I think this is one of those times when using a stylus wins out and is much better than trying to draw with your finger.


Glad to hear you're enjoying it Trepe.

If anyone has any questions about it, feel free to ask and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Smilie

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